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Pre-Market: Oracle Will Acquire Micros for $4.6 Billion; Alstom Board Approves GE Offer


The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index moved from negative to positive territory in May.

Stock futures pointed toward a slightly lower open on Monday. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.05% to 16,849. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved lower, falling 0.08% to 3,790.25.  Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.01% to 1,953.10.


Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) has announced it will acquire Internet-connected cash register-maker Micros Systems (NASDAQ:MCRS) for $4.6 billion. Oracle has been acquiring smaller cloud computing companies while seeking to grow its market share in the cloud computing space. Oracle has acquired over 1,000 companies in the past decade; today's will be Oracle's second biggest acquisition since it bought Sun Microsystems in 2009 for $5.6 billion. Micros shareholders will receive $68 per share in cash in the deal. Micros was trading as high as $67.29 ahead of the open. Oracle was up 0.44%.

The board of French rail and energy conglomerate Alstom (OTCMKTS:ALSMY) has voted unanimously to accept a $17 billion bid from General Electric (NYSE:GE) for its energy business. While GE's offer still needs approval from French regulators and representatives of Alstom's staff, a rival joint bid from Siemens (OTCMKTS:SIEGY) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for $19.3 billion is off the table. The GE deal will see the French government purchasing a 20% stake in Alstom, and it is expected to be completed by 2015. Shares of GE rose 0.22% in pre-market trading.

BNP Paribas (OTCMKTS:BNPQY) has agreed to pay $8 to $9 billion to the US government amid accusations the French banking group intentionally hid $30 billion in financial transactions to sanctioned countries including Sudan, Iran, and others. The fine will accompany a guilty plea to the charge of conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BNP may also be banned from transacting in US dollars for a period of months.

After biopharmaceutical company Shire Plc (NASDAQ:SHPG) rejected its $46.5 billion takeover bid, competing drug-maker AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) is considering a higher offer. AbbVie is also considering presenting its case directly to Shire shareholders. An acquisition of Dublin-based Shire would not only ensure a growing collection of medications for rare diseases, but would give AbbVie a tax shelter from the US government. AbbVie rose 2.72% ahead of the opening bell. Shire was up only 0.01%.


The Chicago Federal Reserve's National Activity Index kicked off the week's economic indicators, which rose to positive 0.21 in May from negative 0.15 in April. At 9:45 a.m., the Markit purchasing manager index flash reading will give a broad reading of inflationary pressure and economic activity across the US. This month's numbers are expected to be positive, after the jobless rate declined and the Philly Fed's Index showed increased manufacturing activity last week. At 10:00 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will release existing home sales numbers.

Global Markets

Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) bucked Asian markets across the board on Monday, which swung between positive and negative territory. The Nikkei hit a five-month high following positive reports on manufacturing activity in not only Japan but China as well. Markit's flash PMI for Japan rose 49.9 in May to 51.1 in June. HSBC's preliminary PMI in China rose from 49.4 last month to 50.8 for its latest reading. Eurozone manufacturing did not show the same resilience, with France bringing the region's PMI to a six-month low of 52.8 for June. European stocks declined after posting a ninth weekly gain in 10 weeks last week. Brent crude was trading near $115 on Monday as insurgents in Iraq took control of strongholds along the country's border with Syria over the weekend. 

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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